1:17pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Wonder Woman 2': Where the Franchise Should Go Next
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman.]
Not since Marvel's first Iron Man in 2008 has a superhero movie left audiences wanting more as soon as possible as Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. Of course, they'll get more in November when Gal Gadot returns in Zack Snyder's Justice League, but it's not the same; there, she'll be one of five heroes — six, if Superman returns — instead of the star of her own show, as it were. And, as her first solo movie demonstrated, there's a lot of space left to be explored when it comes to Diana, Princess of Themiscyria.
What Did Diana Do Next?
There's literally a century of time between the end of Wonder Woman and her re-emergence as Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a lot of untold stories to connect those two narrative dots. Where did Diana go for all that time? How did she become acclimatized to the world beyond Themiscyria to the extent that she appears to be in BvS? Was she retired all that time, or working in secret — and if so, what was she doing? (If she didn't have secret missions run by Etta Candy, then it's yet more proof that we're living in the darkest timeline.) There is more than enough material to be mined from this century time gap for a sequel … if not multiple installments.
Is Ares Actually Dead?
It certainly looked like Ares was fully defeated — and destroyed — at the end of the movie, but is it really that easy to kill a god? Especially given that the world went from the "Great War" to the Second World War in two decades, which would be something that suggested the hand of Ares, given the mythology of the movie. Are we to believe Ares that humanity is so inherently corrupt that they can create worse wars, with worse weapons, without his influence? Surely it's just as likely that he wasn't quite as vanquished as it seemed…
Whatever Happened to Doctor Poison?
Another loose end from the movie: What actually happened to Doctor Poison? We know that Diana didn't kill her when she had the chance — in fact, that was the choice that helped her break through the anger she felt following Steve's (Chris Pine) death. But where did she go after that? Did she stop inventing ever-more-deadly weapons without the inspiration of Ares, or go on to even darker depths — and given that her comic book counterpart had a granddaughter that caused trouble for Wonder Woman in contemporary times, could there be Poison offspring to cause trouble in future movies?
Does Diana Return to Paradise Island?
Diana's mother made a point of telling her that, should she choose to leave the island, she might never return … which obviously raises the question of whether she made it back, or even tried. Returning home after killing Ares and losing Steve would seem like the most natural choice to Diana, but what if she couldn't manage it — and how would Themiscyria respond to losing Diana in the first place?
Was Ares Lying About Wonder Woman's Origin?
The strangest piece of the movie's climax was Ares' revelation that Diana was actually Zeus' daughter, given to the Amazons for safekeeping — which is not only not what Diana believed about herself, it's a significant break from comic book canon in that it significantly changes Hippolyta's role as Diana's parent, and turns Diana into a god … indeed, one of the last gods to survive. Assuming that Ares was telling the truth, what does this mean for Diana's sense of self, and her relationship to the woman she thought was her sole parent? (This revelation mirrors a comic book retcon to Diana's origin from the 2011 run, which placed Zeus as Diana's father.) More to the point, will she try and discover more about her mythical origins? For a revelation dropped so close to the end of the movie, it opens up a whole new world for Diana, and moviemakers, to explore … and offers a direction for whatever follow-up is to come.